Habes Optime Lector, his Opusculis, nunc primo editis, adversus Lutheranam Impietatem…
Venice: [Lucantonio Giunta], 1537.
Quarto: 20.1 x 15.4 cm. (8), 123 ff, (1) f [this last blank, and glued to pastedown]. Collation: †4, A-Z4, Aa-Hh4
Bound in near-contemporary stiff vellum, with front endpapers renewed; spine bands exposed but otherwise holding firmly. Early ex-libris in block capitals on front board, “Cat. Alf.”, with corresponding manuscript inscription at foot of title-page, not quite legible. A very good copy; with a handful of manuscript manicules added by an early reader.
Rare first edition, dedicated to Pope Paul III, of this fiery treatise against the perceived incursion of Lutheran teachings into Northern Italy in the 1530s. “The earliest of these [Italian anti-Lutheran] treatises, those of da Fano and Giaccari, date from the 1530s, when religious affiliations in Italy were still unclear. They reflect the assumption that a near neighbor might harbor heretical sympathies. Their specificity implies that the authors continued to believe that heresy was a real danger, and that their audience might have heard or read particular arguments that it was their duty to refute…” (Michelson, The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy, p. 125).
The Dominican Vincenzo Giaccari (ca. 1490-1540, in Ferrara) demonstrates his reading of Lutheran literature here by defending orthodox positions on three core points of controversy during the Reformation: oral confession (Tractatus de necessitate confessionis vocalis peccatorum), predestination vs. free will (Libellus de libero arbitrio), and purgatory (De purgatorio). Lauchert (Die italienischen literarischen Gegner Luthers, pp. 411-423) gives a lengthy discussion of Giaccari’s work, calling it “not only learned and well thought-out in terms of content, but also a well-planned and carefully executed work”. During the broader movement of the Counter-Reformation, a second edition of the Opusculis seems to have been warranted, appearing in 1569.
The book is extremely rare outside of Italy. OCLC shows a single copy in US libraries, at SMU; COPAC shows a single copy in UK libraries, at Cambridge.
ICCU RMLE 05762; USTC 832625; EDT16 CNCE 20869; and cf. the valuable entry on Giaccari in the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani.